Sunday, May 24, 2009
To That Man in China
This guy is not falling- he was pushed. PUSHED, mind you. At an hour and time in his life when he was debating the merit and value of his soul, his life- and someone pushes him off because he's frustrated and tired of the traffic jams that this suicidal man, standing on a bridge, was causing. This AP Photo tells a lot already, but you can read more about it here.
What's wrong with people that they can't seem to find empathy for someone in trouble- if it means that their own life will be inconvenienced or troubled momentarily?? Have we really come down to this- selfish anger over someone else who we feel is "selfishly" in trouble?
It seems that this is the underlying issue in this extreme case. One man is fed up and tired of those who are not stable and strong and successful. And maybe there's an underlying attitude here that the Pusher, in this story, felt- that if you're going to cause problems in society by not pulling your own weight, then at least fall apart quietly and away from my view and my route so that I am not hindered or inconvenienced by your agony!
Yes, according to Sir Walter Scott, its a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive, but it's a muddy, very deep hole we fall in when second we practise to add to some one's despair! From what I understand of the story, the Pusher guy was first going to try to talk the man down, but then he got fed up with it all, slipped through the police barricade, went up to the man and shook his hand- and then pushed him.
He survived the fall- but will he survive what happened to him? He was already battling mental illness of some kind, but maybe what he was battling was that he saw cruelty and meanness in the world and maybe nobody was agreeing with him. Maybe people made light of the heaviness and depression in his soul. His personal financial crisis was also enough that the man contemplated what no one should ever get to the point of contemplating. But we do. We sometimes get to a place in life where things look so bleak, so dark, so uncertain that we are not only beside ourselves, we are sick of our self, perhaps. And that's a scary place to be- if you have no friend, no dear one, to talk you down from your perilous perch on the top of a bridge.
Last night we got together with a couple I've known for a couple years, and my best friend Mu also, and we had a feast of fellowship. There was no pushing anyone over the edge. There was simply a lot of understanding, of "getting it", of camaraderie, of intuitive listening and a lot of nodding of head in agreement. We've experience some tough times, each of us, and we understood what the other was sharing.
I haven't felt that wealthy in a long time. You are rich when you have dear loving friends, when you have people who " get you", who know you, who see your value and your heart. You are not alone- when you are known.
I wish I could get a message to the man who was pushed from the bridge. I'd tell him that what happened to him was horrible beyond belief. But I'd also tell him that I'm so sorry that he got to the point in his life that he was so despairing of life and found himself on that bridge. I'd tell him that many times, many people have gotten to crisis points in their life, and we've all been on a type of bridge, at some point in our life.
The Apostle Paul, himself, had battled despair. At one point, Paul stated that “we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of our life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).
But did you see that little tiny word in the above passage? Did you note that he said "we were burdened beyond measure"? There's nothing worse than being burdened and alone. But if we can go through tough times and crisis points with the arm of fellow comrade or friend around our shoulders, how blessed we are- even if we are blessed and burdened at the same time.
I'm so sorry, dear sir in South China, that you were burdened beyond belief. But I'm even more sorry that you felt so alone. I hope you feel the love and the prayers of those of us who have decided you shall not be alone anymore. We bathe you in our prayers. We uphold you with loving support, and we tell God- help this man, please. Overwhelm him not with trouble, but with your love. Let him know he is not alone.